I just love waking up before everyone else (of course I have two teenage boys, so that usually isn't a problem) and the house is quiet. It is especially nice in the summer out in the country when it is nice outside and you hear all the activities of the day starting.
Okay, first let me say, I am not a professional photographer. I really don't even understand half the settings on my camera (which is a Kodak MD863/ 8.2 mega pixel) here is a picture of it. The one thing I do know about my camera is the Macro Setting (this setting is a must for jewelry photos, in my opinion) mine is on the top of my camera and is a little tulip icon.
I have two places I take pictures of my jewelry. The first is in my studio, I have a photo tent (I purchased mine at Sportsman's Guide, I do not use the lights that came with the photo tent, I just didn't think they were bright enough, so I have a few different ones which all have daylight light bulbs in them, I got mine at WalMart. This photo area is in a corner of my studio near a window. I use scrapbooking paper for my back drop and for under my jewelry, I also use a brown paper bag which I have torn and then stamped an image of handwriting that I got from Lisa Palvelka's shop.
The second place I take pictures is on my front porch on a chair. I use my brown paper bag background on top of the chair. I do not take pictures in the direct sunlight, I feel the light in the photos is just too harsh (just my opinion).
So now here is my sequence for taking my pictures.
1. I make sure I have my camera set on Macro (sometimes I forget), when taking a photo with my camera a hand will show up after I shoot the picture (red=bad photo, delete; tan=kinda bad photo,maybe delete; green=good photo, keep!). At this point I don't worry about size or shape of my photo, I just point and shoot, I will crop and adjust it in my photo shop program, I'll give you the link a little further down. So at this point just worry about how your jewelry lays, take a few pictures at different angles, turn the jewelry a few different ways. I also take a few pictures from above, to the side and straight on.
2. Okay, now here comes the important part, notice the photo above is a little dark and you can see the edge of the papers and the back of the photo box, so now I edit in my photo editing. I use Picasa, this is a free editing software and I really like it (I also make my banners for my Etsy shop using this photo editing, that tute is coming soon). First I crop my photo. I use the Manual option (not a certain size) for the cropping (choose the crop section and there will be a list to choose from) and I only eyeball the squareness of the photo, I don't worry about the actual number size of the photo at all. I just make sure I crop it nice and close and sort of square.
3. Now the photo above is nice and close, but still a little dark. I now go to the Tuning tab and adjust the Highlighting and Shadows (there is a little feature on the right on this part that you can click and it automatically adjusts it for you, I like this sometimes, but sometimes I just like to do it myself, just play around and see how you like it. After playing with the highlights and shadows I then go to the next tab which is Effects and I choose the Soft Focus, this puts a nice blurred edge around your photo.
Now this is the final picture. Tada!!
On my next post I will show you how I take pictures outside, this tutorial was done in my inside photo area.
I hope you enjoyed it and it has helped. I am not a very technical person and really learn by seeing and again this is just what I do and what I feel works for me:o)